Mystery shopping is a great way to get reimbursed for your everyday purchases and make extra cash. As a mystery shopper, companies will pay you to visit local retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and more. You’ll provide them with valuable feedback, and in return you’ll be compensated for your time. While mystery shopping isn’t a full time job, it is something you can do in your free time to make extra money.
There are so many mystery shopping companies out there that it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve narrowed down some of the top mystery shopping jobs in the country that you can use to supplement your income.
Top Mystery Shopping Companies
1.) Market Force
Market Force is one of the leading mystery shopping companies out there, and is popular among shoppers due to their wide range of assignments available. They’ve been recognized with the Shopper’s Choice Award from the MSPA, which is a network of professional mystery shopping companies from around the world.
Signing up for Market Force is easy. They require that you be an adult with a high school diploma, and you’ll need to pass a criminal background check before you can start work. Market Force works with a wide range of brands with locations throughout the US. When you Mystery Shop with them, you’ll provide feedback for everything from fast food restaurants to banks to movie theaters and much more. Market Force offers reimbursement for purchases made during your mystery shops, as well as payments that average $3 to $15.
Market Force also has an excellent app called Eyes:On that you can use for your mystery shops. With the Eyes:On app, you can browse and schedule nearby shops directly from your mobile device. You can also complete your feedback and take pictures on the app to streamline the review process.
2.) Secret Shopper
Secret Shopper is another reputable mystery shopping company that offers jobs both in the US as well as internationally. Their assignments pay fairly well when compared to other mystery shopping companies – you can expect anywhere between $12 and $25 per assignment, as well as reimbursement for any products or services you purchased in the course of the shop.
Signing up for Secret Shopper is free and easy – you’ll need to complete a basic certification test and enter some personal information to create your profile. Once you’re approved, you’ll be able to start participating in mystery shopping assignments in your area. You’ll need a digital camera or scanner, as you’ll need to submit your receipts along with your review at the end of each job. They also have a mobile app that you can use to find and complete assignments. Secret Shopper works with companies in a wide range of different industries – some of the assignments they offer include retail stores, restaurants, healthcare providers, real estate offices, casinos, fitness studios, banks, and much more.
BestMark is another one of the most reputable mystery shopping companies in the industry. They’re also one of the largest, with a huge selection of jobs to choose from. They have over 30 years of experience, and at any given time, they may have over 10,000 jobs to choose from across the US and Canada.
To sign up with BestMark, you’ll need to be over 18 years of age. You’ll need to complete an easy online application form and demonstrate that you have good written communication skills. Once you’ve been accepted, you can browse BestMark’s selection of mystery shopping jobs. They may also contact you directly if there is a job opportunity particularly close to your location. In addition to in person mystery shops, they also offer mystery shopping opportunities over the phone or internet. In these jobs, you’ll typically be asked to evaluate your experience with a customer service representative.
BestMark’s compensation can vary widely depending on the type of job you take. In some cases, you’ll only be compensated for your purchases, but most jobs pay a flat fee. Shoppers can choose to get paid in cash or gift cards, and payment is released once the assignment has been reviewed and approved.
IntelliShop is another popular company among seasoned mystery shoppers. They’re headquartered in Ohio, but have shopping opportunities throughout the United States. IntelliShop is quick and easy to sign up for – all you need to do is enter your demographics and payment information. They pay between $5 and $10 per mystery shopping job.
IntelliShop works with companies in many different industries, so the assignments can vary widely from day to day. Although their pay is not the highest in the industry, they do offer unique assignments like automobile repair services, which offers a great opportunity to get your car fixed for free. They offer video mystery shopping assignments for extra compensation, which require shoppers to use hidden cameras and microphones to record their interactions with staff. They also offer online and phone mystery shopping jobs that you can complete at home.
If you’re interested in mystery shopping jobs at banks and credit unions, Pinnacle is one of the top companies you should consider. They specialize entirely in mystery shopping for financial institutions. Mystery shoppers for Pinnacle will evaluate their customer service interactions at both national and local financial institutions.
Pinnacle is a very reputable company with over 20 years of experience. Some of their mystery shopping jobs have compensation as high as $75. After you complete each mystery shopping job, your feedback will be graded for detail and clarity. Shoppers with higher grades will be given more opportunities in the future. You can apply for opportunities via Pinnacle’s job board, which is updated daily. In some cases, you may also be sent opportunities via email.
6.) A Closer Look
If you’d like to treat yourself to a nice meal out on the town, or even a staycation at a local hotel, A Closer Look is a mystery shopping company worth considering. They have an excellent selection of restaurant and hotel mystery shopping assignments, as well as other options like specialty retail, entertainment venues, storage facilities, apartment buildings, and even senior living homes. Their restaurant mystery shopping gigs range from fast-food chains to high-end restaurants to local breweries. Hotel jobs range from motels to luxury resorts to extended stay properties. They’re also currently conducting evaluations that focus entirely on health and hygeine.
A Closer Look hires mystery shoppers that are over the age of 18. You’ll need to pass a test before you can start picking up mystery shopping gigs. This test includes an essay describing a recent dining experience, which they will use to evaluate your written communication skills and attention to detail.
Sinclair is one of the older mystery shopping companies out there, having gotten their start in 1987. Sinclair’s mystery shoppers work on a wide variety of tasks in many different markets, and evaluate factors like cleanliness, wait time, product availability, and overall customer service for their clients. When you first sign up with Sinclair, you’ll need to take a few quizzes designed for new shoppers to prove that you have the skills to provide effective feedback.
Sinclair offers many different types of mystery shopping tasks. In addition to traditional mystery shopping jobs, they also have video mystery shopping opportunities, as well as mystery shopping jobs that can be completed over the phone. Jobs generally pay between $5 and $20 and are generally very simple to complete.
8.) Second to None
Second to None has been in the business since 1989 and has since recruited over 500,000 shoppers in the United States and Canada. Like many other mystery shopping companies, they have opportunities available in a wide range of industries, including retail, restaurant, finance, and healthcare. They often recruit shoppers with specific demographics or qualifications, so you might not qualify for every shopping opportunity in your area.
Pay for Second to None’s assignments ranges widely depending on the type of job you complete. You’ll always be reimbursed for your purchases as well. You’ll need reliable internet access and transportation, and you’ll also need to make sure your reports are detailed enough to ensure they get approved.
Ipsos is one of the best options for mystery shoppers that want to work internationally. While they have jobs in the US, they also have opportunities available in Europe, Asia, South America, and Oceania. Ipsos requires that their mystery shoppers be over the age of 18, be able to provide a tax ID for payment purposes, have reliable internet access, and have a good quality digital camera or smartphone camera.
Ipsos offers in-person mystery shopping opportunities, as well as gigs on the phone and online. Online mystery shopping opportunities involve conversing with customer service representatives via email or using an online chat function. You can use their app to book mystery shopping assignments on your phone and fill out your reviews after you’ve completed the assignment. They use the Shopmetrics and Sassie platforms to schedule shopping opportunities.
ACPVIEW stands for A Customer’s Point of View, and they’ve been offering mystery shopping jobs for over 20 years. Like many other mystery shopping companies, their pay varies by project and they make payments using PayPal. Signing up for ACPVIEW is easy – you’ll just need to fill out some basic contact and demographic information. They offer mystery shopping jobs in many different industries – in addition to the traditional retail and restaurant assignments, they also have assignments at airports, banks, grocery stores, and more.
11.) About Face
About Face is a popular mystery shopping company that is known for their assignments at major beauty retailers, as well as a wide range of other stores. About Face stands out because of their relatively high paying assignments. About Face’s payments range from $25 to $45 depending on the assignment, and you’ll also be reimbursed for the money you spend on each job. They have jobs available throughout North America, and they have a very simple application process. When you pick up a job, you’ll be given the details for the specific assignment. For most assignments, you’ll need to take photos with your phone that have time stamps and geo-locations. Each assignment will be graded afterwards for accuracy and quality.
12.) Amusement Advantage
If you enjoy going to amusement parks and other entertainment venues, you’ll enjoy mystery shopping with Amusement Advantage. This company focuses on mystery shopping assignments at amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, bowling alleys, and other local entertainment venues. This company doesn’t pay as much as other mystery shopping companies, but you will get reimbursed for the money you spend while you’re at the amusement park. It’s a great way to enjoy a day out for free.
Amusement Advantage offers a $5 bonus if you complete your review by 10 AM on the day after the assignment. They also offer $20 bonuses for referring other shoppers. Although you’ll be having a fun day at a theme park, keep in mind that you’ll still need to complete a detailed report. You’ll be required to submit photos and receipts for each assignment. New assignments are generally released on Fridays, at which point you can request to be scheduled or self-assign in some cases.
Confero is a respected mystery shopping company that has been in the business since 1986. They work in a huge range of industries, so they’re a great choice if you are looking for variety in your jobs. You can expect jobs at grocery stores, movie theaters, banks, automotive service providers, and much more. They have mystery shopping opportunities available throughout the United States. Confero has a very quick and easy sign-up process, and once you complete your profile, you’ll be able to browse the entire list of shops available throughout the United States and Canada.
BARE International offers a wide range of mystery shopping jobs in over 150 countries. They work with large international chains in the retail and restaurant industries. They also offer job opportunities at banks, auto service shops, public transportation, hotels, and more. When you sign up for BARE, you’ll need to enter some basic demographic and contact information, and then you’ll pick five zip codes that you want to mystery shop in. This helps you narrow down your selection from BARE’s hundreds of available job opportunities. In addition to traditional in-store mystery shopping, BARE also has phone call and web chat mystery shops available. They also have higher-paying video mystery shopping gigs.
15.) Shopper’s View
Shopper’s View is a mid-sized mystery shopping company based in Michigan, although they have jobs available throughout the United States. Shopper’s View mainly offers jobs at local retail stores and restaurants, although you may also occasionally get shops for companies in other industries. Shopper’s View also offers assignments over the phone and through their smartphone app. However, these assignments do not pay as much as their in-person assignments. Shopper’s View pays through PayPal every month and is generally a very reliable company, although they don’t always have assignments in every area.
16.) Perception Strategies
Perception Strategies is a mystery shopping company that focuses on the healthcare industry. At Perception Strategies, shoppers will evaluate a variety of companies in the medical field, including doctors’ and dentists’ offices. Many of these shops are conducted over the phone, so you’ll need to call the office and schedule an appointment or get a price quote for the visit. In other cases, you’ll need to go in person to the office or even have an entire doctor’s appointment. You’ll need to be very detailed to complete these assignments, but you’ll be reimbursed for your time. Their phone assignments pay between $12 and $17 each, with in-person assignments paying more.
Because Perception Strategies is so specialized, they don’t have jobs available in every city. On their website, you’ll see a list of cities and states where they are looking for shoppers. Then, you’ll need to complete an application. If there are jobs available for your area, you can start right away. Otherwise, they will keep your application on file and contact you if any relevant opportunities come up in the future.
RBG stands for Reality Based Group, and they’re a reputable provider of mystery shopping jobs in a wide variety of industries. They got their start in Austin, Texas and have over 25 years of experience. Some of the clients they work with include restaurants, clothing stores, hair salons, hotels, banks, and insurance companies. They have jobs available throughout the US, although most of their opportunities are concentrated in major cities on the east coast and in the south. They offer many different types of mystery shopping jobs, including video mystery shopping. They also have telephone mystery shopping, online mystery shopping, and simple surveys they call ‘InstaShops’. RBG is fairly selective when choosing their mystery shoppers, and you’ll need to fill out an application and get approved before you can start mystery shopping.
19.) Quest for Best
Quest for Best is a smaller mystery shopping company, but they are very well-respected and provide plenty of excellent opportunities for their shoppers. They offer jobs throughout the North America, although the bulk of their job opportunities are concentrated in the southern and Midwestern United States. Their jobs include in-person assignments at chain restaurants and retail stores, as well as telephone mystery shopping assignments. Unlike many other mystery shopping companies, you can see their list of jobs that are currently available before you sign up. Then, you can submit an application, and if there are jobs available in your area, they’ll contact you via email to set up your mystery shopping assignment. Quest for Best offers above average pay for their projects, and they have a reputation for providing good customer service and being easy to communicate with.
iSecretShop is a great choice for shoppers that prefer to work from a mobile app. While you can complete your assignments from your computer, they have an excellent app that is available for both iPhone and Android. You’ll be able to do everything from the app, including schedule new jobs, fill out your reviews, take pictures, and much more.
iSecretShop is an aggregate job board with opportunities from many different mystery shopping companies. This makes it easy to find jobs available in your area all in one place. Once you’ve signed up, you can browse through their whole list of jobs, and you’ll occasionally be sent opportunities that are particularly relevant to you. You’ll find a broad range of in-person shops in many different industries, as well as phone and web chat assignments. You’ll even be able to make extra money by answering polls. It’s important to note that because iSecretShop works with a wide range of companies, they don’t have a consistent payment schedule. Some of their affiliates make payments more quickly than others, which can make it difficult to plan ahead.
SeeLevel offers mystery shopping opportunities that are fun and easy to complete. While they have jobs available in a wide range of industries, the bulk of their available work is in restaurants, retail, financial services, and automotive services. They offer mystery shops online and over the phone as well as in person. Pay is fair and they offer occasional bonuses for jobs well done. Most of their reviews are also easy to fill out, so you won’t have to worry about assignments being excessively time consuming. Signing up for SeeLevel is relatively easy – you’ll need to complete the application by filling out some basic demographic information, and if you’re approved, you’ll be able to start completing shopping assignments right away.
22.) Coyle Hospitality
If you love to travel, Coyle Hospitality is a mystery shopping group worth signing up for. CH specializes in mystery shopping for hotels, resorts, spas, and luxury restaurants. They also work with wealth management services and other retailers. They’ve been in business for over 20 years and have opportunities available in more than 70 countries. If you travel frequently, you’ll be able to complete mystery shopping jobs while you are on the road. You’ll be reimbursed for any expenses you incur as a result of the assignments – in many cases, you can get an entire hotel stay or an expensive meal completely reimbursed. Many of their jobs also pay a flat fee on top of the reimbursement. Coyle does ask for very detailed reviews for each job, so you’ll need to be willing to invest some of your time and effort to make sure you’re providing valuable feedback.
23.) Sentry Insights
Sentry Insights is a smaller mystery shopping company that offers excellent opportunities in both the restaurant and retail industries. Sentry works with both large chains and local favorites, and they’re a great option if you would like to get paid to eat out. Sentry has a team of helpful schedulers that will contact you via email with relevant mystery shopping opportunities in your area. Note that you’ll need to submit each mystery shopping assignment on time in order to receive full payment. Like all mystery shopping companies, you’ll need to complete a detailed report of your experience for each assignment.
24.) ATH Power Consulting
ATH Power Consulting is a mystery shopping company that focuses on the financial industry. Most of their jobs are at banks or credit unions, although they have some opportunities in other locations, like airports. They have mystery shops available throughout North America and have recently expanded into South America. They have over 10,000 shopping opportunities available each month. Their sign-up process is quick and easy, and you’ll be able to start searching for mystery shopping jobs right away using their online portal. One downside of using ATH Power Consulting is that they do not make their payments right away. Depending on when you complete your assignment, it can take up to two months to receive your payment.
GBW stands for GAPBuster Worldwide, which is an international mystery shopping company with over 25 years of experience. Their headquarters are in Australia and they also have offices in Europe and Asia, making them a truly global company. GBW is a very large mystery shopping company, with opportunities available in a wide variety of industries. These include retail and grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, banks, auto shops, and more. They’ve worked with massive global retailers, including major fast-food chains, auto retailers, and fashion brands.
To sign up for GBW, you’ll need high speed internet access, a printer, and a digital camera or scanner. GBW is very strict when it comes to the quality of their feedback, so you’ll need to make sure you read their requirements thoroughly before signing up. You can apply online, and applications are usually accepted within three days. Once you’ve been accepted, you’ll be able to go through their online orientation and start picking up jobs.
Mystery Shopping: What to Expect
Companies pay mystery shoppers to act like ordinary costumers while evaluating a store, restaurant, or other local business. For each mystery shopping trip, you’ll be assigned a series of tasks you’ll need to complete – without tipping off the employees that you’re there to evaluate them. Then, you’ll need to complete a detailed review of your experience and submit it to the mystery shopping company. For some jobs, you may also need to take pictures and submit receipts.
Becoming a mystery shopper is fairly simple. You’ll just need to sign up online with the mystery shopping companies you are interested in, and from there, you’ll be able to start picking up tasks. You’ll be graded on each task you complete, so you’ll need to have excellent attention to detail to ensure that you’re providing helpful feedback. After you complete each job, you’ll be reimbursed for any purchases you made, and in many cases you’ll also be compensated with a small fee. Many companies will give their highest paying opportunities to the shoppers that have been working with them the longest, so it pays to complete mystery shops regularly.
There are some mystery shopping scams out there, so it’s important to be wary when giving anyone your personal information. In general, you should never pay to be a part of a mystery shopping company.
Is Mystery Shopping Right For Me?
Mystery shopping may not be a full-time job, but it can be a great way to make a bit of extra cash and save money on things you would already be purchasing. Mystery shopping companies allow you to select your own assignments, so you’ll be able to choose the ones that work best for your schedule. Many people complete their mystery shopping assignments on their lunch hour, after work, or on weekends.
As a mystery shopper, you’ll need to have excellent attention to detail. When you complete your review, you’ll need to answer a number of questions, many of which require fairly long written responses. Because of this, mystery shopping companies expect you to have strong spelling and grammar, and some will ask you to complete a short writing sample when signing up. When you complete your mystery shopping jobs, you’ll need to stay covert so as not to let the employees know that you are completing a mystery shopping assignment. This means you’ll need to review the questions and the requirements of the assignment ahead of time and make sure you’re fully familiar with them before getting started. Keep in mind that most mystery shopping companies grade their reports, and your assignments may get rejected if they don’t meet the requirements.
If you have excellent attention to detail and good writing skills, mystery shopping is a good way to make some money in your free time. You’ll also need to make sure that you have a reliable internet connection, as well as a camera, which you can use to take photos and submit your receipts. When selecting mystery shopping jobs, look for opportunities that fit into your daily life – for example, you may be able to get reimbursed for a grocery store visit, auto repair, or trip to the movies that you were going to take anyway. Over time, these small rewards that mystery shopping can provide will really add up.